For the first time since late December, the number of critically ill COVID-19 patients in Israel dropped to less than 600, the Health Ministry reported Tuesday night.
According to ministry data, 586 Israelis were hospitalized in serious condition with coronavirus and 208 of them were hooked up to ventilators for respiratory assistance.
Of some 40,000 coronavirus tests performed in the previous 24 hours, 2.3% were positive, representing 905 new cases.
The national death toll from COVID-19 has reached 6,047 since the outbreak of the pandemic in Israel, and 272 Israelis have succumbed to the disease since early March.
Also Tuesday, 8,500 more Israelis received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine since midnight and more than 32,000 people received the second booster shot. In total, more than 55% of Israelis were vaccinated with the first dose of the vaccine and 46.5% also received the second injection.
The official told a Knesset Finance Committee hearing that the state is expected to spend another NIS 2.5 billion to buy another round of vaccines in case they are needed during the summer.
The green pass issued to Israelis who have received both doses of the vaccine or have recovered from the disease is only valid for six months.
If his calculations are correct, the country will need another 5 million doses to fully vaccinate the rest of its adult population, as well as Palestinian and foreign workers who have permits to work in Israel, which would cost around NIS 900 million.